World Vital Records is running more smoothly, and is closer to achieving our near-term financial goals, with sales 136% higher in September than in our best previous month.
As we get through some of the early start up pains, and as our organization and systems mature a little more, I should be able to budget some time each day to blogging. I have missed it terribly. I love the feedback from readers. I love being part of the conversation. I love that to intelligently blog I need to read a lot first to see what is going on and what people are thinking about, and then organize my own thoughts. As Susan Easton Black, author of more than 100 books told me, you need to “read to write.”
If or when I have time to think and blog more fully, here are some of the topics I’d like to address:
- Fortune says that Josh Kopelman (who I believe is the top seed stage investor in the country today–a few years ago I would have said Steve Jurvetson of DFJ) and partner Howard Morgan are likely to raise a $75-100 million fund for First Round Capital, which has already invested in more than 40 companies in the past two years. Josh is a fantastic blogger. I encourage entrepreneurs to read his blog as well as anything Paul Graham writes.
- Josh is also on the advisory board for a new $10 million fund that Facebook has set up to provide grants to Facebook apps developers.
- Josh Coates, a Silicon Valley transplant to Utah, recently sold Berkeley Data Systems which created Mozy.com, the award-winning free online backup solution, to EMC. Last week Josh told me he be teaching a computer science class at BYU (CS 405) starting in January. I bet Josh will inspire the next generation of Drew Majors and Alan Ashtons.
- I heard Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speak at BYU last week. He gave a great speech on faith, family and public service.
- Last week we rolled out a new App on Facebook called We’re Related. It is starting to pick up some serious steam. I’ll blog more about it later.
- Trying to find Facebook developers is not easy. I may encourage the Utah Facebook Developer’s Group to have another get together soon.
- I am so happy to be working with Kent Thomas of CFO Solutions again. He is the leading financial consultant/advisor to Utah startup companies. He has helped 75 companies raise more than $300 million during the last 10 years. He and his dozen employees keep books, do financial modeling, and help CEOs make the right decisions. He will be acting CFO for World Vital Records, and help us get ready for future growth.
- I’m impressed at how much traffic GodTube.com has, shortly after launch. The most popular clip is of a little girl reciting Psalms 23.
- Techcrunch says the MySpace Platform will launch this week at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. MySpace is opening an office in San Francisco and will hire as many as 200 employees.
- I’m amazed at how legal bills can mount, given our Series A financing and the dozens of contracts that we are working on with genealogy and technology partners. I intend to find a great US firm that outsources a lot of the contract drafting to India or elsewhere, but still reviews, oversees and approves all of the work. My friend told me there was a major story in the American Bar Association Journal this past month on legal outsourcing to India. I want to learn more.
- I am researching virtual currencies, point systems, and reward systems that might be useful in our family/genealogy social networks. I came across something from china called the QQ–a point system developed by a private mobile company in China that is now being used by millions as an alternative currency. I believe the online genealogy world could use a virtual currency of some kind to help reward the volunteerism that already happens and help people trade value for value.
- My brother gave me a copy of “Made to Stick” and said it is one of the top 5 books to read this year.